Run Walker, run
Three weeks ago, I wrote in The Davidsonian about a dinner conversation I had with thirteen other Davidson students in which we discussed money in politics, the failure of the two parties, and the lack of political discourse on campus, among other things. At the time, I pointed out that I had heard a lot of consensus around the table regarding the challenges our country faces right now and what can be done to fix them. Since that article was published, more than a dozen students - some close friends, some people I hardly knew - have approached and told me they agree: there is something wrong with the way things are going right now, and our generation needs to do something about it.
As I see it, there is one challenge facing our nation that is particularly grave to a point where it surpasses all other issues as the one we need to address: the fiscal indiscipline that has led to our mounting $15 trillion debt and tens of trillions more in long-term unfunded obligations. Former Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Mike Mullin has called this issue "our greatest national security risk." Merely servicing the debt (that's Beltway talk for paying the interest on it) cost us $450 billion in the last fiscal year - and that doesn't buy us a single thing.
Meanwhile, both parties in Washington have shown that they are utterly unable to act responsibly and address this problem. Republicans refuse to raise revenue. Democrats refuse to touch entitlements. The bickering and gridlock continue as the problems only get larger. In January 2011, the Government Accountability Office reported that "the longer action to deal with the nation's long-term fiscal outlook is delayed, the greater the magnitude of the changes needed and the risk that the eventual changes will be disruptive and destabilizing." In other words, each time Washington kicks the can down the road, the bigger the can gets and the more damage it threatens to do when it finally bursts. It's our future that's at stake.
Regardless of our respective ideological viewpoints, I think the American people can all agree that continuing heedlessly down our current path is an untenable situation. As long as we continue to allow other divisive issues to distract us, we're never going to get around to dealing with an issue that we all agree on: that something needs to be done to put our fiscal house in order. It's for this reason that I think David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States, should run for president. Having the nation's former top auditor for the presidential debates this fall would, at the very least, ensure that truth and solutions have a representative on stage.
David Walker has been a political independent for the past 15 years and currently serves as the CEO of the nonprofit Comeback America Initiative. Some call him the Paul Revere of fiscal responsibility. He's been to all 50 states awakening the public to our looming fiscal crisis. He's a citizen patriot, not a career politician -- which is why you might not have heard of him yet. Nevertheless, Mr. Walker is uniquely qualified to address the most important issue facing the country and the most important issue facing our generation. His participation in the campaign alone will bring our fiscal infirmity into the public debate and force the candidates of the two parties to address the issue, much in the same way that Ross Perot's 1992 presidential campaign created a mandate for the Clinton administration to address the budget deficit.
A David Walker presidential run can be made real through the platform offered by AmericansElect.org, the online nominating process that will place a presidential ticket chosen by the American people on the ballot in all fifty states in November. All it takes is 10,000 voters logging on to the Americans Elect website and "clicking" their support on Mr. Walker's profile. Think of it as one of those campaigns to get a certain number of "Likes" on Facebook, but one where reaching the target number of "Likes" will cause something to happen. You can actually make a difference here by doing nothing more than visiting AmericansElect.org and showing your support for Mr. Walker and all he represents. It's time Washington stops ignoring the risk of not making tough choices and starts realizing the benefits of doing so. The status quo is simply unaffordable.
Lincoln Davidson '15 is undeclared from Lewisburg, PA. Contact him at email@example.com.
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